Technology set to be approved
The long wait for goal-line technology will reach its conclusion on Thursday when football's law-makers meet to approve two systems.
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The International FA Board (IFAB) are set to give the go ahead to both the Hawk-Eye and the GoalRef systems, which will give the green light to the Premier League and Football Association introducing the technology into their competitions.
A comprehensive series of tests have been carried out on the systems by Swiss scientists and IFAB sources have confirmed to the Press Association that both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef will be deemed to have passed the tests satisfactorily.
Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo said on Wednesday a system was needed as soon as possible.
Di Matteo said: "We see every season, every big tournament, we need it because there are some crucial moments within those games where, with a bit of technology, you could find the right solution."
There will still be a delay before either system can be used in competitive football, however - each will need to be licensed, installed and then tested in every venue to make sure it is working properly.
The IFAB, who are meeting in Zurich, will also insist the technology is used only as an aid to referees to make a decision, rather than being the deciding factor in whether the ball has crossed the line.
It means referees can still decide not to award a goal based on what they see even if the systems are indicating the ball has crossed the line.
FIFA's president Sepp Blatter is now a firm supporter of goal-line technology, having changed his mind after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup.
The clamour increased last month after Ukraine's disallowed goal against England and has also served to sweep aside any lingering doubts over the systems' margins of error.
However, FIFA are insistent that, initially at least, the technology's signal of a goal should only be transmitted to the match officials and not to the crowd or TV audience.
The IFAB is made up of FIFA, who have four votes, and the four home nations, who have one vote each. Any law change needs at least six votes.
The body will also consider whether the UEFA experiment with extra officials has been a success and should be continued, but UEFA president Michel Platini will not be going to Zurich to argue the case in person.
The England v Ukraine incident, which saw John Terry hook the ball back into play when it was already across the line, could hardly have fallen worse for Platini.
No goal was awarded despite the extra official being no more than 10 yards away and staring straight along the line.
That suited Blatter perfectly, who opposes the extra two officials on the grounds that in many countries there are not a sufficient number of referees.
The tests on the technology were carried out by the EMPA - the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology - and the results discussed by IFAB members at a meeting earlier this month.
The Hawk-Eye system - developed by a British company now owned by Sony - is based on cameras and GoalRef, a Danish-German development, uses magnetic fields.
Each system is required to send an immediate message to a watch worn by the match officials within a second of the ball crossing the line.
The tests included exposing the equipment and watches to extreme heat and cold, as well as humidity and heavy rain. Experiments also took place during live matches including England's match against Belgium on June 2.
FIFA's Club World Cup in Japan in December is likely to be the first competition where the technology is used.
The IFAB are also due to rule on whether special headscarves can be worn during matches after pressure from some Muslim countries.
The body will hear a report from FIFA's medical committee which warns that headscarves could in some cases be a danger to players.